The field of medicine is not like any other field of study. The work that is performed here has a direct impact on our lives and this is why there is a need to have very strict rules in the code of conduct for every medical institute. This includes hospitals, medical training institutes and other academic and practical entities. In most of the places, you will find that there actually are good and strict codes of conduct in place that ensure a responsible working environment in all aspects. However, not everyone acts the way they should and there are often incidents reported that involve malpractice and medical negligence. While most of the times it is not directly related to any person or patient, there are even cases where the lack of diligence results in the loss of lives. While addressing these issues is extremely important in every part of the world, it is also just as important that we are well aware of the problems that are occurring around us in this regard. Keeping yourself informed about these incidents is actually important if you want to make sure you don’t find yourself in a bad situation. To help you with that, we will be sharing some of the latest news regarding medical negligence here so keep reading to find out more.
Medical Negligence statistics on a rise
In a recent study carried out researchers at Johns Hopkins, it has been discovered that the number of medical negligence cases in the UK & US have been rising quite rapidly in the recent years. In an issue of 2013 of BMJ Quality and Safety, they mentioned that errors caused by doctors in diagnosis resulted in deaths that numbered from 80,000 to 160,000. The research also found that over the past 25 years, there have been more than 350,000 claims for medical negligence and the result of this was severe health problems to patients and subsequently a massive payout. The study found that between the years 1986 and 2010, patients were compensated with a total amount of 38.8 billion, most of which was related to diagnostic errors. While the sum is itself quite huge, the real concern here is the fact that the issue is continuing to grow and there is no proper mechanism in place to ensure that such negligence is avoided at all cost.
Jury awards 1.5 million to family of man who committed suicide after using Paxil
Joseph was a 51 year old teacher, basketball coach and father who was prescribed 20mg doses of the antidepressant Paxil which he was taking for 10 years before his suicide in 2009. The doctor did not even once see the Joseph in person during all this time to assess the effects that the drug was having on him and every time Joseph needed pills he would call the doctor and would get a new subscription without any follow up check-ups. Doing so was completely unethical both morally and in terms of medical regulations and it kept on going regardless. Things suddenly got worse in the August of 2009 and when Joseph asked the doctor for a check-up, he simply doubled his dosage instead and also included Zyprexa in his medication which is an antipsychotic drug. As a result of this, Joseph, an otherwise cheerful and lover person, was found dead in his garage a month later by his wife. The jury fully agreed that the blame was completely on the doctor and the family was awarded 1.4 million in todays money that is the equivalent to £930,000 as compensation for the negligence shown by the doctor. It is a high amount compared to what some medical negligence solicitors can win a clinical negligence case for.
Drug companies easily manipulating doctors
Tests like this have been conducted several times in the past and have brought the same results every time. It is a very common sight to see that a drug that you see on the television suddenly ends up in your doctor’s office as well. In a recent test, it was seen that whenever patients went to the doctors and named a certain drug, there was a huge chance that they will be prescribed that drug. A test that was done in the past with Paxil showed the same scenario as the patients, even those who didn’t have any depression, when they took the name of Paxil; it became highly probable that they will be prescribed Paxil by the doctor. What it really has shown over and over and even in this recent test is that doctors are becoming less and less careful about their practice and could simply be termed as glorified drug dealers for pharmaceutical companies.
To find out what laws are in place regarding medical negligence, you can visit this Justice.gov.uk.